Pan-Seared Elk Medallions with Herb-Infused, Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace

The elk is one of the largest species of deer in the world and one of the largest mammals in North America. Ranging in forest and forest-edge habitat, elk are ruminants, feeding on grasses, bark, forbs and tree sprouts.  High in protein and low in fat, this animal was wild-harvested deep in the Texas hill country..

Pan-Seared Elk Medallions with Herb-Infused, Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace

Allow one 5-7oz portion per person, depending on accompaniments

Medallions of wild elk loin, cut about 1 inch-thick
coarse sea salt
freshly-ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of tallow

Season elk medallions on all sides with salt and pepper, wrap loosely in butchers’ paper and refrigerate 4-6 hours or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature. Pan-sear with a little tallow or grill over a wood fire until just medium-rare, then allow to rest 10 minutes before serving over chipotle demi-glace.

Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace, Home Version (adapted from Saveur)

1/4 lb. uncured bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sprouted wheat, spelt or rye flour
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-1/2 quarts beef or game stock, divided
1/4 cup good sherry (not cooking wine)
10 sprigs fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 leaves fresh sage
2 chiles chipotle en adobo, crushed
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Render bacon in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Add onions and carrots and cook until somewhat softened, about 8 minutes. Use a sifter to sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook another 10 minutes. Add sherry, herbs and 8 cups of stock and simmer uncovered until reduced in volume by three-quarters, about 2-1/2 to 3 hours.

Strain sauce, discarding solids. Return to pan with chiles chipotle en adobo and remaining stock and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours. Demi-glace may be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!

15 thoughts on “Pan-Seared Elk Medallions with Herb-Infused, Crushed Chipotle Demi-Glace

  1. Is elk more like deer or moose. You said it was the largest in the deer family, but I’m wondering about the consistancy of the meat. I find deer meat quite gamey but moose meat definately not

    1. Taste and texture are closer to beef than venison and nothing at all like moose. The sirloin is very tender if not overcooked.

  2. Ren, where do you get all of these exotic meats? I am in Southern California and have no idea where to get wild boar, elk, etc., but I would love to try them!

    1. Anywhere I can find it! While its illegal (for good reason) to sell actual wild game to the public in the US, narrow exemptions are sometimes be granted for “farm/ranch-gate” sales.

      In Austin, we have a gentleman who occasionally brings feral hog & rabbits to market. Wild boar, deer and antelope are plentiful in the hill country; outfits like Broken Arrow Ranch are able to sell directly to the consumer.

  3. Ohhhh, I will have to try that demi-glace. I have been doing more grilled/seared venison steaks and was looking for new flavor ideas. Thanks!

      1. It takes me the weekend to make demi-glace. It’s not hard but very time consuming… I use a trick from a cookbook that stole the idea from Julia Childs…. I freeze demi glace in ice cube trays and have individual servings… I do this and it works for me… Just a thought. I can’t say if it’ll work for you… Thanks Ren.. I’m an almost experienced “cook”.. I know how to wash dishes… anyway… Your sight has given me new life in cooking… I’m big on game but never found a sight that offers anything but basic recipes. And the books I’ve bought are nothing more than very basic campsite cooking with pictures that capture book buyers more than inform.

        1. You’re right- making demi-glace is a somewhat meticulous and time-consuming affair, but so worth the effort. Freezing portions for future use is a great idea!

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